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Staying in shape, not getting there.
Written: Mar 24, 2011 (Updated Mar 24, 2011)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Focuses on health, food, and exercise.
Cons:Each issues has less substance. Not a very good fitness magazine.
The Bottom Line: I enjoy reading this magazine but don't really feel like I've gained any fitness inspiration or knowledge after reading it for years.
I have been a Shape subscriber for 5 years now and enjoy it for entertainment-only purposes. This is probably the worst fitness magazine there is but I enjoy the articles. I cannot attribute a single pound loss or any fitness motivation to this magazine and certainly wouldn't recommend it to a reader who is looking for purely fitness inspiration. It has been instrumental in aspiring me to live a healthier lifestyle in general.
A famous celebrity is featured each month with an interview about what the celebrity does to stay in shape, what their favorite things are, what gets them motivated. This is one of my favorite sections of the magazine.
Beauty tips are also included in the magazine. This month, how to groom eyebrows were covered in detail. I seriously don't need to cover the basics and not sure if I'm the target audience for this magazine anymore.
This is not a magazine for athletes. The fitness section finally appears in the way back and is usually just some pictures of a few simple moves anyone of any fitness level could do. One month it may be moves with a stretchy band, the next month with a medicine ball. I would have expected a lot more to be considered a fitness magazine.
Each month the magazine is set up pretty much the same way with the following categories:
Shape Your Life
Topics in this area are inspired by career, sex, travel, and fitness.
This subject includes beauty articles such as makeup, grooming and dressing.
Articles cover the latest health topics, ask a doctor, and life-changing health stories.
The articles in this section include ways to energize, tone specific areas, weight-loss articles, tips from the stars. I really like to see the articles by fitness experts or stars because I find it more interesting and ratable than just textbook information.
News on foods that may have an effect on the body are discussed, healthy snacks are revealed and food to watch out for are covered.
In Every Issue
Shape online - online website has some great information
Contributors - paragraph from each
Readers speak out - readers complain or praise about the cover model or articles in the magazine
Editor's letter - I really liked the previous chief editor but the new one doesn't have much to say.
You in Shape - an inspirational weight-loss story for a reader
A change in the writing style
I really liked Valerie Latona, but now she has been replaced with Tara Kraft as editor-in-chief. The substance of the magazine seems to be dwindling and I'm not too impressed. Do people not have time to read magazines anymore? The writers have yellow highlighted words or phrases within every article of the March 2011 issue to summarize the meaning. The eye goes right to the yellow blocks so ruins the fun of reading it.
I have noticed there is a secret formula when it comes to ads in a magazine. The more ads, the less a magazine costs. The magazine is inexpensive and ads are plentiful. I am willing to flip threw some ads if it means keeping the price low.
Maybe not for the coffee table
Some of the ads and articles may be a little inappropriate for reading in public. I hate reading a magazine in the lunch room and turn to page where the woman is naked with just the product covering her. The magazine strives to not be ashamed of a woman's natural body so I guess this is why the photos are sometimes quite extreme.
This is a very inexpensive subscription. A 12-month subscription can be found for $18 or less. My issues have been less than $1. It may not be worth the newsstand price of $4.99.
Some things I like about this magazine is the MP3 play list, recommendation for snacks and recipes, break down of calories burned for activities, how to optimize the workouts you're already doing, and detailed success stories. The articles are not overwhelmingly newsworthy but I find them interesting...or at least I did until the change in direction. Let's face it, everything about beauty and weight loss has already been discussed a million times over the years. I think lately they have really been oversimplifying the information and heading more toward Seventeen. I understand things change, but this is not the same magazine anymore.
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